Wingless. Oval shaped. Flat. I’m no talking about our friend the bed bug, but rather its ally, the tick.
Bed Bug Bites Versus Tick Bites
Ticks are mistaken for bed bugs because of their similar appearance. They differ in number of legs. Ticks have 8, while bed bugs only have 6. The main difference in appearance is apparent after a feeding where the tick inflates its body full of the blood, while the bed bug will fill its body cavity with the dark reddish blood color.
A good way to determine which bug just bit you would be that ticks will attach themselves to your skin whereas bed bugs will feed on you and retreat to their nest. The bed bugs are scientifically proven to not be transmitters of diseases.
The chart below compares bed bugs to ticks:
|Found indoors, near bed||Outdoor, grassy area|
|Human blood||Human and animal blood|
|Multiple biting areas||Single bite|
|Mainly at night||Anytime of the day|
Ticks are typically found in outdoorsy, grassy areas. They flourish around plants, shrubs, leaves and weeds. If you sense that you may have been bitten by one on an adventure through greenery, they can be found on arms, stomachs, hair and oddly behind the ear.
The bite marks are a big distinction between ticks and bed bugs. The itchiness will come from a tick bite and will stay in one specific spot unlike with bed bugs. Ticks will give you a small red bite whereas the bed bug will mark its pattern on your body with swollen and hard looking appearances.
Tick bites have the ability to develop into rashes, often mistaken for flea bites or from some other insect. Some people who get bitten by ticks may suffer from neck stiffness, weakness, headaches, nausea, chills and swollen lymph nodes from the tick-borne disease.
Preventing tick bites:
When going outside, wear long sleeves and pants, if you know that you’ll be in the woods, garden or grassy area make sure that you’ve protected any exposed skin with a repellant.
Apply the repellant in your socks, shorts or skirt as well
When returning indoors, shower thoroughly and as soon as possible to rid of any bugs or anything you might’ve brought inside
If you’ve already found a tick infestation in your home:
Locate the affected area within your home. You can try vacuuming them but if they’re already attached to your skin then you’ll need a different removal method.
Never smother your skin with oils or alcohol while the tick feeds on you. The tick will panic and force itself further into your skin, making it even harder to remove.
Outside of your home, check the shrubs and greenery, ensuring that none are overgrown so that they have no place to hide.
Get your pets checked regularly for any ticks if they play outside often
The good part about ticks is that it is very rare that you’ll ever hear about anyone with a tick infestation.
Use a glove to remove the tick from your skin. Use tweezers to remove the head. Gently pull out the tick, do not twist. Don’t use a hot match. Put the tick in an alcohol filled container to show the doctor in the case of a serious reaction. Wash your hands and remember use warm water and soap to gently clean the infected area. Lastly, apply alcohol to the wound for infection prevention
Bed Bug Bites Versus Scabies Bites
“Scabies is a skin infestation caused by a mite known as the Sarcoptes scabiei,” (https://www.healthline.com/health/scabies). These mites tend to burrow under the skin and the females will lay 2-3 eggs a day. The oval eggs will then hatch within 3-4 days. Aside from all of the scientific talk about scabies, the bottom line is that when they bite, they can cause an extremely tense itching and create a rash that resembles a bunch of pimples.
The most common symptoms include scratching and rashes. Scabies is commonly spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with someone who has them.
Scabies are worldwide and can affect any person. They can spread quickly in crowded conditions if the body contact is frequent enough. The most common places to find them are in nursing homes, prisons and extended care facilities.
When someone who has never before ben infested by scabies gets it the first time, the symptoms won’t appear until 2-6 weeks later. Whereas, with someone who has been infected before will notice the symptoms 1-4 days after being exposed to scabies. Scabies will usually form in-between fingers and wrists. Intense scratching can lead to skin sores and can become infected by bacterial skin infections if not treated. This can lead to kidney inflammation called called post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis.
Symptoms of scabies include:
- Intense skin rash
The symptoms can be found commonly on:
- Between fingers
- Genital area
Treatments for scabies are fairly easy compared to other pests. A simple medication can kill them and their eggs.
According to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), here is a list of medicines to treat scabies:
- 25 percent benzyl benzoate lotion
- 5 percent permethrin cream
- 10 percent sulfur ointment
- 10 percent crotamiton cream
- 1 percent lindane lotion
Bed Bug Bites Versus Bat Bug
Bat bugs are little critters who got their name by feeding on sleeping bats. The pests lived in caves and were found anywhere near bats. They are commonly found in bat nests, where they travel on the winged creature. The craving for blood goes beyond bats. They will inevitably, feed on humans, too. Their behavior closely resembles that of a bed bug when feeding. Incredibly annoying.
Bed bugs and bat bugs look so identical that it takes more than a glance to see the difference. Their mannerisms are alike and so is their reproduction and feeding mechanisms. The bed bug, of course, prefers human blood over that of any other warm-blooded animal, but bat bugs will only settle for human blood for so long as they need a bat to continuously reproduce.
Can flea/tick medication work on bed bugs?
No. Bed bugs don’t live on their hosts the way other common parasites, such as fleas, do. Therefore, there is no reason to treat a dog, or any different animal, for bed bugs as a means to eliminate said bugs. Those methods will not work. Flea and tick medication will not work against bed bugs. Flea baths will rid your pet of fleas; the bed bugs will just be waiting on the sidelines and come back to munch from your pleasant-smelling, flea-free animal. The only way to stop your pet from being bitten by bed bugs is to find where the bed bugs are shacking up in your home and terminate them. If not wholly eliminated, the bed bugs will be back.
For more questions and answers about how to treat bed bugs, read our complete guide. Contains useful information from identification to treatment and prevention. We cover the price and efficiency of DYI methods vs professional help. Check it out!